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Old 05-27-2008, 12:48 AM   #1
htnusa
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Registered: May 2008
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Grub blowout on a windoze xp dell with a USB external drive with Fedora 8 Help please


Hello All,
My friend is a student with a dell dimension 3000 2.8ghz P4.
His primary OS for 4yrs was windoze XP.
He is taking a linux class. His instructor set up his system to boot from grub on a 55mg vfat partition (MBR) on his primary internal drive.
Fedora 8 (werewolf)is said to reside on an external USB 2.0 Maxtor 320GB external hard drive.
He disconnected his external drive and when he reconnected it all the machine will do when we try to boot it is display the word GRUB with a blinking cursor!. It will not boot into windoze XP or find his external Maxtor via the USB and boot Fedora 8.
Just the word GRUB and a blinking cursor. (tells me the MBR/ grub is hosed!)

Results I'm looking for:
Repair or reinstall Grub without losing the windoze partion! and be able to again choose windoze or Fedora 8 and boot that choice.

Facts: current partitions on internal drive are as follows,
/dev/sda1 vfat 55mg (1,7) (I'm thinking this is where grub resides?)
/dev/sda2 ntfs 35009mg (8,4470) (4 years of info must keep)(windoze)
/dev/sda3 vfat 3075mg (4471,4862)
/dev/sda4 unformatted 8mg (nevermind end of disk wasted)

External USB Maxtor Drive (can't see it)

Things attempted:
* Windoze recovery from XP install disk (fix MBR) but I can not use this because I do not know the admin password for recovery mode. not really what I want to do anyway.

* Use Fedora 8 install or recovery disk CD to fix grub (no success)
* Use Fedora 8 install to do an "Upgrade" to reload grub but the install
refuses to go past the partion phase because of no lables of partions and no /.

*Fedora 8 recovery CD will load but drops to a shell prompt because it does not "see" any linux partions (and cannot see the external USB drive where Fedora 8 may still reside.)

My experience: I've seup up dual boots in the past but never did this configuration!

What I want to do: (2 choices)
1. have someone walk me through a way to reinstall grub only (and config) to fix this.

2. Have someone walk me through a reinstall of Fedora 8 explaining how I can get the install to "see" the USB external drive and have grub boot both operating systems again.

Any and all input very much appreciated, the student needs his machine back to finish his course ASAP. Bios has the usb ports turned on.

Regards, htnusa
 
Old 05-27-2008, 01:32 AM   #2
Honeysuckle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htnusa View Post
Any and all input very much appreciated,
Have you had a look at the manual? If not, here's a link http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/grub.html
It might help until somebody knowledgeable posts.

With my limited knowledge of grub (figured out from fiddling with linux distros and messing things up), I think that the instructions in 4.1.2 should get him into Windows.

(In relation to the partition setup, if that is a relatively new Dell, the Windows bootloader might still be on sda1, even though XP is on sda2, because of the way Dell sets up its automatic recovery system. If you try to boot into Windows, I wouldn't assume that you need to boot sda2.)
 
Old 05-27-2008, 09:06 AM   #3
Duck2006
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Some reading that may help.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
 
Old 05-27-2008, 01:27 PM   #4
htnusa
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Registered: May 2008
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Grub blowout etc....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeysuckle View Post
Have you had a look at the manual? If not, here's a link http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/grub.html
It might help until somebody knowledgeable posts.

With my limited knowledge of grub (figured out from fiddling with linux distros and messing things up), I think that the instructions in 4.1.2 should get him into Windows.

(In relation to the partition setup, if that is a relatively new Dell, the Windows bootloader might still be on sda1, even though XP is on sda2, because of the way Dell sets up its automatic recovery system. If you try to boot into Windows, I wouldn't assume that you need to boot sda2.)
Hi Honey suckle,
I've downloaded the manual and I will try to setup a bootable cd for a grub install only.....and see what happens from there.
I had not previously considered that option, so thanks for the link and the idea!
I was looking to reinstall the fedora 8, but perhaps I will not have to do that....time will tell.
Thanks again.
Regards, HN
 
Old 05-27-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
htnusa
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Registered: May 2008
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Original Poster
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Grub blowout on a windoze xp dell with a USB external drive with Fedora 8 Help please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck2006 View Post
Some reading that may help.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
Hi Duck,
Another cool Idea, I'll check this out as well....

My major issue is getting the install of fedora 8 to "see" the external drive through the USB port.
I've looked at other post's that say "just do an expert install" but when I put the install disk in it does not give me an "input option" so maybe someone can tell me how to pass the "expert" command to the kernel so I can do the graphical install in expert mode?
Anyway thanks for your input.

Regards, HN
 
  


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